September 17, 2010 - 13:51 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Oxford University Stars and Stones expedition to Qarahunge (Zorats Qarer, dating 7500 years back), which started on September 6, 2010, aimed to describe and raise awareness of the site and investigate astronomical significance of the stones and the mysterious holes in the megaliths.
Expedition leader Mihran Vardanyan said that the stone circles are highly controversial with some scholars highly skeptical of the astronomical designation of the site.
“The most commonly accepted theory about Qarahunge is that it is an ancient burial ground, or necropolis – a place to act as a bridge between the earth and the heaven in the cyclical journey of the soul involving life, death and rebirth. The necropolis thesis is certainly true, but after our initial investigations of the central circle, it is clear the site was aligned to the sun, most likely aligned to the moon and – what is really exciting, possibly to some starts or planets – owing to the placement of small holes drilled through the monoliths and aimed to the horizon. It is these holes which makes this exceptional megalithic site unique out of all similar European sites,” he told a news conference in Yerevan on September 17.
Vardanyan also said that their research bases on the works by prominent Armenian scientist Paris Heruni.
D.Phil. Geography Nicholas Howarth said, “It’s incredible how rich the Neolithic and Bronze Age collection is here at the National Historic Museum. The most exciting find for me was a Bronze Age Model of the Solar System, which has the sun, the moon and five easily observable planets suspended above rings of concentric circles, representing the earth, separated by a double headed axe. In addition to show how important the sun, the moon and planets were to people who were probably using the stone circle at Qarahunge as a ritual site, this would also seem to provide new evidence into the much disputed link between the idea of a Labyrinth, mother goddess and the double headed axe.”
The scientists are planning to make laser scanning to get a 3D map of the site.
“Two months ago we requested the government to assist our research but haven’t received any response so far,” Vardanyan said, adding that they will also call for introduction of Qarahunge in UNESCO World Heritage List.